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Another Bite at the Burger


Following on from our article last month The Big Mac v Supermac’s which discussed McDonald’s successful application to EUIPO to block the registration of SUPERMAC’S as a trade mark in certain classes, Supermac’s has discarded its EUIPO appeal in pursuit of a new EU trade mark application.

By way of background, in March 2014 Supermac’s applied to EUIPO to register its name as a trade mark in respect of classes 29, 30 and 43. These classes largely represent products such as hamburgers, nuggets and processed foods, as well as the service of providing such food.

Supermac’s application was refused on the grounds of similarity between McDonald’s trade mark ‘BIG MAC’ in addition to the similarity between goods and service offered by the entities. It was deemed that this could lead to a likelihood of confusion amongst the public. McDonald’s application was partially successful in that, although Supermac’s was allowed to register its trade mark, it was effectively made redundant as it could not use it in respect of the goods and service which it provides.

Supermac’s had two months to lodge its appeal (which was submitted on 11 March 2016) and a further two months to enter grounds of appeal. In a recent turn of events, Supermac’s withdrew its appeal and lodged a fresh application on 17 May 2016. Similar to the old application, the new application seeks to register the SUPERMAC’S trade mark in respect of the same classes. It has been stated that the new application will focus more on the products for which Supermac’s desire the trade mark.

It will be some time before we know whether Supermac’s fresh application will be successful. If it is, it will allow Supermac’s to pursue its expansion plans, beginning with franchise operations within Europe.

Contributed by Charleen O’Keeffe